We’re pleased to welcome back historian Matt Atkinson for this year’s Emerging Civil War Symposium at Stevenson Ridge, Aug. 4-6, 2017. As part of our theme “Great Defenses of the Civil War,” Matt will offer a look at the defense of Vicksburg, Mississippi.
“The Siege of Vicksburg” ranks among the few true sieges in the Civil War, Matt says. “The 47 days of fighting at Vicksburg resulted in the surrender of an entire Confederate army and thrust U.S Grant to the forefront,” he adds.
Matt will consider how Grant’s victory is remembered today, but he also asks about the Confederate defenders: How did they counter the overwhelming Union war machine? How did they survive on such short rations for so long?
Matt, who formerly worked at Vicksburg National Military Park, is a native of Mississippi—or as pronounced down south, “Missippi.” The Civil War has been his passion since he was five years old, and Matt says he considers himself lucky to make this a “living hobby.”
Matt received an M.A. in history from the University of Louisiana-Monroe. He is a partner with fellow ECW member, Rob Orrison (who, Matt claims, he “mentors”), in a Civil War tour company, Civil War Excursions. www.cwexcursiontours.com. In Matt’s private life, he enjoys living out ol’ country tunes.
Tickets for this year’s Symposium, Aug. 4-6, 2017, are available for $125 (order here). They include Friday night’s reception, speakers, keynote address, and historians’ roundtable; Saturday’s line-up of talks; coffee service and lunch on Saturday; and Sunday’s tour of the Brandy Station battlefield.